CEB supports job creation and social housing in Montenegro
22 November 2017
PARIS -The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) is taking further steps to support social development in Montenegro. The Bank approved loans totalling € 40 million to provide access to social housing for vulnerable population groups and to channel financing to micro and small businesses with limited access to third-party financing.
Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) generate more than 80% of jobs in Montenegro and are the main driver of economic growth. Yet MSMEs often face barriers to long-term financing at affordable interest rates, which hinders their development. With unemployment in the country at 17.4%, support to Montenegrin MSMEs is crucial for job creation and economic growth.
The CEB is lending € 30 million to the Investment and Development Fund of Montenegro (IDF), a state-owned institution promoting economic development and focusing in particular on supporting local entrepreneurial activity. The Bank is providing the IDF with custom-tailored financial resources in order to help it better respond to the needs of MSMEs. The funds will benefit in particular start-ups, young entrepreneurs, and women-led businesses.
Moreover, the CEB is lending €10 million to the Montenegrin government to finance a subsidised mortgage scheme aimed at providing access to affordable housing for low-to-middle income households. The programme will benefit in particular vulnerable groups who do not have access to housing in the current market conditions, such as single parents, persons with disabilities, young couples, and eligible households with below-average incomes.
Commenting on these loan approvals, CEB Governor Rolf Wenzel said: “Having a job and access to adequate housing are fundamental to leading a decent life. This is why social housing and job creation are two of the priority areas of activity of the CEB. We are very happy to be continuing our excellent cooperation with Montenegro in these sectors for the benefit of vulnerable persons.”Montenegro became a CEB member in 2007 and has availed of CEB financing in social housing for low-income persons, education and vocational training, and the creation and preservation of viable jobs. It is also one of the four partner countries of the CEB-managed Regional Housing Programme (RHP), which is aimed at providing sustainable housing solutions to thousands of vulnerable displaced persons.
Set up in 1956, the CEB (Council of Europe Development Bank) has 41 member states. Twenty-two Central, Eastern and South Eastern European countries, forming the Bank's target countries, are listed among the member states. As a major instrument of the policy of solidarity in Europe, the Bank finances social projects by making available resources raised in conditions reflecting the quality of its rating (Aa1 with Moody's, outlook stable, AA+ with Standard & Poor's, outlook positive and AA+ with Fitch Ratings, outlook stable). It thus grants loans to its member states, and to financial institutions and local authorities in its member states for the financing of projects in the social sector, in accordance with its Articles of Agreement.